Wildfire threat prompts Nevada Legislature to consider changes

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FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2020, file photo, people try to protect their homes during the Pinehaven Fire in the Caughlin Ranch area of Reno, Nev. Fire investigators say arcing power lines in gale force winds started a brush fire that destroyed five homes and damaged two dozen others in a south Reno neighborhood in the foothills along the Sierra in November. Reno Fire Marshal Tray Palmer said Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, they investigated but ruled out the possibility the Pinehaven Fire in Caughlin Ranch was caused by a campfire, target shooters or off-road enthusiasts on motorcycles or ATVs. (Jason Bean/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, File)

CARSON CITY — On the heels of an intense fire season in 2020 that burned a record 16,000 square miles across the country, the Nevada Legislature is considering proposals that expand cooperation in fighting fires.

Currently, a 42-acre fire is burning at GoodSprings in Clark County.

Proposals about wildfire prevention, response and liability are advancing through the Nevada Legislature, and a senate committee reviewed three bills on Wednesday related to wildfires. No action was taken.

Among the changes being considered:

  • AB 84 — Allows state fire officials to enter into public-private partnerships to when there’s a threat of a catastrophic wildfire.
  • AB 86 — Expands the ability of governments to recover damages from people or companies that are guilty of negligence in causing a fire. Removes requirement that the fire was a threat to human life, and adds cities and other local governments that are allowed to recover damages.
  • AB 100 — Creates the Wildland Fire Protection Program under the Division of Forestry to aid in cooperation between agencies.

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